Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Sighting

My first hummingbird friend visited this Saturday!!! I'd been prepared for their visit for a couple of weeks, making new feeding solution in between to keep it fresh.

We were on hummingbird watch and I was beginning to wonder if they had decided to stay south this year. Our first little friend is very small, but he has the feeder to himself for now so hopefully he'll fatten up.

I'm certainly not flying around. My visit to the doctor resulted in a calf strain diagnosis probably brought on my too much too soon and improper foot support. Apparently my foot wiggles too much. They made casts of my feet and are making support inserts for my running shoes. I tried walking a couple of miles this week-end, but that proved too much. I was in quite a bit of pain today when I tried walking again. Back to square one. When the doctor said three weeks rest I guess he meant walking too.

We're excited about the upcoming birthday celebration. The route and clues are all set. Decorations, food, and prizes are all planned. Kate comes in Thursday night. I'm so excited to have her here!!! Norm's family are all coming in on Friday. We're looking forward to seeing all of them also. Jeff's taking the GMAT that day and up to his ears in work in Pittsburg but will be with us in spirit.

A picture to leave you with: I made this dinner Saturday. It was marinated grilled chicken with a little feta cheese on top, served on top of fresh spinach with a red bell pepper sauce I made from scratch. It was easy to make, very nutritious, and tasted wonderful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Field Trip

We had a wonderful field trip on Friday to Turnbull Wildlife Refuge. This is the best class I have ever taken to this wonderful place. They were respectful, interested in the learning, and very prepared for the experience.

We had completed our life science unit prior to our trip and the students were able to demonstrate their understanding in a very real way. It was impressive.

Due to the later state testing window, we were able to put our trip off by almost two weeks, so it was beautiful and warm. We've never seen so many wildflowers.

During our pond study, we even saw a water scorpion! That was a first! We also caught water beetles, mosquito larvae, and frogs. What a great day.

Team running update:
Team Northwest had a mixed training week. Kate, Norm, and Cy did the team proud. Their training is progressing well. Jeff was on the road all week, which made it tough to train. I am still nursing a leg injury...very frustrating.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Born to run

Let's hear it for Team Northwest!

Our team (Norm, Kate, Cy, Jeff, and me) logged over 50 miles this week. What a team!!!

Norm is sporting his new running attire straight from Sears' sale rack. He looks and feels great. I, on the other hand, am wearing my grunge look from the bottom of my dresser drawer. Ah well.

Running as a team has been very inspiring. All week when I didn't feel like running at the end of the day, there was a reason to run that was greater than just me. I wanted to support the team. We can all add comments on our running logs that each of us can read. Cy gets the award for the most humorous comments. Jeff has refused to run less than his mother, so that's inspiring.

Our run today was the best. We ran along the Centennial Trail and it was beautiful. I even had a short bit of being in "the zone" - that feeling that running is effortless and I can run forever. I was running ahead of Norm (he walks and runs), when I spotted a coyote on the trail in front of me. He was large and quite healthy looking (a testimony to the mild winter), and completely unafraid of me. In fact, for a moment I wondered if he was going to get off the trail before I reached him. He did, but not too far off. I moved to the left of the trail, but Norm said he paced me for a bit until Norm threw a rock at him. A bit unnerving.

The only negative was that at the end of the run I had a sharp pain in my right calf. I'm praying that a little rest will take care of the problem. I've been feeling so much better since we started this a couple of weeks ago during spring break. I really want to feel more like myself other than just the 2 1/2 months during the summer when I'm not working. To that end I've also been drawing and painting a little. (Very little, but anything is better than nothing.)

I'll bring you more updates from Team Northwest. (Here are our mascots)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blessings of Spring

Happy Easter!

What a glorious day we had today. I started out by sleeping in. Then I drank coffee and read the paper. Such a nice way to start a day.

Norm and I took another trial jaunt for our birthday road rally. We are finding that it does indeed take many journeys to make sure that the directions are clear and accurate. Computer mapping routes certainly have their limitations.

Then it was on to Turnbull Wildlife Refuge. I love this incredible place. Every year we take our fifth graders there for a fantastic ecosystem learning experience. Before we go, though, I teach an interactive unit that culminates in a ecosystem mystery that the students have to solve involving a pond that is in distress. For this, I needed some pond water. We decided to do our 8K training while we were out at Turnbull, then I would get my pond sample.

What 8K? I'm glad you asked!!!

I had a moment of inspiration. The Spokane Indians baseball club sponsors an 8K run every year in July. Kate and I did it three years ago, but I haven't done it since. I have wanted to get back into running. My thought was that it would be motivational and fun if we trained together as a family and then participated in the run which includes tickets to the baseball game later that night.

So, we put the challenge out to Kate, Cy, and Jeff with the offer to help share in the cost of airfare. Norm found a great training website where we've been set up as a team with training logs. We can enter our daily data and encourage other members of our team. I'm so excited! It gives us something to look forward to and something to work towards. It looks like Kate and Cy will be able to make it. Jeff is pretty "iffy" since his life is so up in the air right now. He may be doing a big implementation job in New Jersey during that time. I'm still holding out hope that he will have a window of opportunity to join us.

Aren't these flowers beautiful? I've decided that you cannot be sad if you smell hyacinths. They have filled our house with their heavenly scent.

Blessings on this Easter Sunday.
He is risen!!!